Early in my career I found myself part of the new products division of Unilever, the large multinational Fast Moving Consumer Goods Company. My job was to take the wonderful food combinations thought up by our marketing department and work with the food technologists and the packaging experts to extract the expensive ingredients without affecting the flavour and look too much. Sometimes we made good calls. At other times our enthusiastic cost cutting, while technically feasible, as with the changes to the Woollies rewards changes proved to make no business sense. the margins were there but the customers weren't!
It seems that a comparable new products team at Woollies were hard at work doing something similar with their rewards program.
One of the reasons they were able to make these changes was because the loyalty program technology they purchased allows it. Like with many decisions in corporate life around leveraging technology it doesn't necessarily mean it makes good business sense to do so. Woollies is to be commended on moving so quickly to change things. It is a timely reminder to involve the business in technology decisions and to be quick about changing things if they're not working - even more so on a big ticket project like this $500m one.
Eight months after rolling out its $500 million, new-look loyalty scheme, Woolworths is giving the program a makeover, including revisions to make it more attractive to grocery suppliers.It's understood this latest version of the loyalty program will be unveiled in coming months and it's expected to broaden the range of products customers can earn "Woolworths dollars" from and potentially reduce the cost impost for suppliers.One influential supplier said the cost of the present scheme did not stack up next to the cost of regular promotions, and as a result he did not participate